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Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' debut an understated affair

Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' debut an understated affair

NEW YORK — Making his debut as host of "Late Night" on Monday, Seth Meyers struck a decidedly low-key note in a broadcast that emphasized finely tuned punch lines over star power and razzle-dazzle.

Meyers opened the NBC show by paying tribute to one of his predecessor's best-known recurring bits, "Thank You Notes." Seated at his desk, Meyers wrote a letter to Jimmy Fallon, now host of "The Tonight Show," promising to treat "Late Night" "with respect and dignity and to only use it to do completely original comedy pieces … starting now," he said.

But in most ways, Meyers' debut bore little resemblance to Fallon's unveiling last...